Monday, July 22, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: Roomful of Teeth at MASS MoCA; David Gergen in Pittsfield; Tarbox Ramblers at Club Helsinki Hudson

David Gergen is a professor of public service and director of the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership, positions he has held for over a decade, and also serves as a senior political advisor for CNN.

MASS MoCA to present Roomful of Teeth

North Adams — MASS MoCA will welcome the Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, led by Williams College professor Brad Wells, Friday, August 24, at 8 p.m.

Currently enjoying its ninth annual residency at the museum, Roomful of Teeth has spent the week workshopping new and reworked compositions by microtiming pioneer Richard Beaudoin; Bang on a Can founder David Lang; and Mingjia Chen, Mary Kouyoumdjian and Peter S. Shin of the American Composers Forum. The residency-concluding program on Friday will include Lang’s Pulitzer Prize-winning piece “Little Match Girl Passion” and Beaudoin’s “Another Woman of Another Kind,” featuring flutist and Claire Chase.

Roomful of Teeth was pioneered in 2009 by Wells as an experimental vocal ensemble with the intention to “mine the expressive potential of the human voice.” The group is made up of eight vocalists, resulting in a polychromatic sound that intertwines time-honored singing traditions with the world of contemporary classical music. Roomful of Teeth gathers annually at MASS MoCA to study with masters of Tuvan throat singing, indie rock, yodeling, Persian classical singing and death metal, to name a few. The ensemble released its eponymous debut album in 2012 and a second studio album, “Render,” in 2015. They followed up on these acclaimed records with a third studio album released in June 2018, featuring Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia with the Seattle Symphony. In 2016, the group had its New York City premiere at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Other recent endeavors include collaborations with A Far Cry and Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, as well as with Tigran Hamasyan on a new piece commissioned by Carnegie Hall; appearances at new music festivals in the U.S., Canada and Sweden; and partnerships with nearly two dozen higher-education institutions across the country.

Tickets are $16–$40. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact MASS MoCA at (413) 662-2111 or


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David Gergen to speak on ‘Eyewitness to Power: Leadership in America’

David Gergen. Photo courtesy Temple Anshe Amunim

Pittsfield — The 51st Annual Hilda Vallin Feigenbaum Memorial Foundation Lecture will be held Sunday, Aug. 26, at 7:30 p.m. at Temple Anshe Amunim. The speaker will be David Gergen, a senior political analyst for CNN and advisor to four U.S. presidents, who will speak on “Eyewitness to Power: Leadership in America.”

Gergen is a professor of public service and director of the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership, positions he has held for over a decade. He also serves as a senior political advisor for CNN and works actively with a rising generation of new leaders. In the past, he has served as a White House advisor to presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. He wrote about those experiences in his New York Times bestseller, “Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton.”

Starting with “The MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour” in 1984, he has been a regular commentator on public affairs for some 30 years. Twice he has been a member of election -coverage teams that won Peabody Awards, and he has contributed to two Emmy Award-winning political analysis teams. In the late 1980s, he

was chief editor of U.S. News & World Report. Over the years, he has been active on many nonprofit boards, serving in the past on the boards of Yale and Duke universities. He currently serves on the boards of Teach for America, The Mission Continues, the Trilateral Commission, and Elon University School of Law.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served after the lecture. Seating will be limited and early arrival is recommended. The doors may close before the lecture begins. For more information, contact Temple Anshe Amunim at (413) 442-5910 or Temple Anshe Amunim is an accessible building.


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Tarbox Ramblers. Photo courtesy Club Helsinki Hudson

Club Helsinki Hudson to welcome Tarbox Ramblers

Hudson, N.Y. — Club Helsinki Hudson will present the Boston-based trio Tarbox Ramblers Sunday, Aug. 26, at 8 p.m.

Tarbox Ramblers consists of string bassist Scott McEwen, drummer Robby Cosenza and guitarist-vocalist Michael Tarbox. The band plays old-soul music, including both original compositions and arrangements of songs dating back to the 19th century or before such as “St. James Infirmary,” “Jack of Diamonds” and “The Cuckoo.” Michael Tarbox’s own songs reflect and expand upon the music he’s absorbed from traditional and rock influences that include Skip James, Bert Jansch and Lou Reed. Authors from the American South, like Flannery O’Connor, have also influenced his writing.

Tickets are $15. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call Club Helsinki Hudson at (518) 828-4800.



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